Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given--when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes."
~ Joan Winmill Brown, American author and editor.

I have many wonderful memories of Christmas as a child.

I remember the year, my brother and I got a VCR. And the year we got a hockey net!! A hockey net!!! I mean, how cool is that???

I remember that we would have friends and family over on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I remember that my mom would cook all day. And the relatives would start piling in mid-afternoonish to swap gifts and eat a feast (well, unless there was a home show...hehe, just a little inside joke...).

I remember after dinner we would all sit around and enjoy some good laughs. There would be phone calls to family members that lived out of town and then some more laughs.

In 2002, Christmas changed for me. That was the year I came to know Jesus Christ as my savior. Thinking back, the first couple of years, although I had been saved, Christmas was still not really centered around Christ's birth. I am happy to say that this year will be a memorable one, for sure. The kids are old enough to understand the real Christmas story and, well, this past year, something in me has changed.

Christ has a much larger portion of me that He has ever had in the past. He definitely got my attention this year and I am nothing but grateful for it.

This year I spent night after night talking with the kids about the birth of our Savior. We made our first birthday cake for Jesus. I struggled with the whole Santa thing. I even contemplated telling the kids the truth....but I chicken out.

I felt like, God would be proud of me this year :). I hope to make 2010 a year to remember. A Christ-centered year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Too Many Frogs


Christmas is supposed to be about sharing and caring. Talking about the birth of Jesus. Spending time with family, doing things, that only come once a year.

This Christmas season, it has been about how many things we can cram into one month, exhausted kids and exhausted parents. And we still have a couple weeks to go!!!!

December has looked like this:

1st: Dr's appt. Cancelled due to insurance. Have I mentioned how much they suck?
Make cookies for WNAC (cookie press broke).

2nd: WNAC meeting. I was responsible to hand out prayer cards to all the ladies for the month of Dec. Cookies and crafts. Yearly nominations, to which, by some misunderstanding I got nominated for three positions. I will be taking two.

3rd: Arts 'N' Crafts with Santa at the Fox Service Center, through Parents As Teachers.

4th: Prepare for Pampered Chef party and weekend birthday party.

5th: Niece's birthday party, which involved ice skating in Forest Park, followed by Incredible Pizza.

6th: Sunday school, worship, subway, Pampered Chef Party, clean-up, evening church service
All Angel Tree gifts are due in. 50 some-odd gifts are handed into me, to organize and package up to deliver.

7th: Start planning for the kids Christmas party/Angel Tree party

8th: Alex wakes, covered in hives. Babysitting the pastor's daughter so that he can be at the hospital with a church member who is having surgery. Alex's hives fade but return in the late afternoon. My dr. calls, wants to schedule an ultrasound for chest pain.

9th: Alex wakes, face, hands and feet are swollen. Take Lily to preschool, then Alex to the dr's. Plans to meet someone at ASLS are cancelled. I cancel lunch plans with a friend because of Alex. Alex has a "mild virus". Whatever that means.

10th: Deliver the first Angel Tree gifts. Keep Alex home from school because he is not feeling well. Have to go to school anyway to pick up an Angel Tree gift and Pampered Chef order. Off to Schnucks to pickup special order gift cards. The dr's office calls. He has Strep G. What is that? They don't treat it and don't want to see him?

11th: Ultrasound of gallbladder, liver and pancreas. Take Lily to school. Deliver Angel Tree gifts. Do some errands for Christmas party. Todd leaves for Men's Retreat.

12th: Todd gone to retreat. Spend the entire day making cookies and running errands for the kids Christmas party. Angel Tree kids come at 5pm. Party ends at 8ish. Three Angel Tree gifts delivered:). Maybe home in bed by 11?

13th: No one wants to get out of bed. Sunday school, worship, Christmas cantata, lunch, deliver Angel Tree gift, pick up Lily, to church for 4pm, kids practice for their play, Alex to church at 5:30, kids Christmas program, everyone collapses in a heap of exhaustion.

14th: Take Lily to school, accompany her class to sing at a nursing home, take her back to school, go to Dollar Tree, church to get Angel Tree gift (last one!!!), clean out the flower room where all the Angel Tree stuff is kept, bank, Pakmail, post office, pick Lily back up, feed kids lunch, deliver Angel Tree gifts, Walmart to buy b-day present, home, wrap present, do a couple house things, off to party, stay til 9pm, Nathanael cranky all day (sick)?, kids can't go to sleep, way over tired, Nathanael throws up on me and the bed, change sheets, put big kids back to bed again, awake now with a crying baby, put him in the swing, blog to vent about the craziness.

15th: Nathanael is scheduled to have immunizations. The last ones causes crying for hours, temp of 103 and vomiting.

16th: MOPS meeting. Making cake. Kids perform at ASLS for their Christmas program.

17th: Alex's Jesus b-day party at class. Parents responsible to make crafts, games and run it. I am bringing....something...

18th: Lily's Jesus b-day party.....ditto from above! Evening, MOPS Christmas party.

19th: Sunday school Christmas party for adults. No babysitter as of yet.

20th: Kids have secretsanta gift exchange at church.

Ok, so maybe it's me but that's just too many frogs!!!!! I mean, on top of all the running, is laundry and errands, and bills and bills and bills, and groceries, and work outs and time to buy presents? When am I suppose to worship my Lord? Or read His Word? I fall asleep praying at night. I am interrupted in the morning. Barely have time to eat a meal with the family some days.

I am making myself and God a promise that, next year will be different. I know I am blessed and I am not complaining that I am busy from three kids. I am complaining about all the "Christmas responsibilities". It's just nutty. It's 5:27 am, Nathanael is finally asleep in the swing. I am dreading the rest of this week.

My parents are arriving on the 23th. I expect days of crazy kid behavior and lack of sleep while they are here. My fear, is that by January, I am going to be one BURNT. OUT. MAMA.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



Outside my window.....It's raining. Again. I know that God is giving all things nature their sprinkling of love but they gotta feel pretty loved by now! The leaves are almost gone from the trees. Once a year I can see the street at the bottom of the hill behind my house. I have never quite figured out what that white building is. And I'm not curious enough to find out.

I am thinking.....about the mess that is in front of me. It's ponies and crayons and books and puzzles. And that's just my kitchen table. Yep, my kitchen table. Thankfully I am in the mood to clean it today. Thinking about the week winding down. It's been a week full of odd events that have thrown me off my routine. Completely! I am excited that the kids are off school all of next week!

From the kitchen.....It was cheerios and milk, upon request, for breakfast today. I like these kind of days. I feel like a better mother when I fill their bellies full of something warm and yummy but I am grateful for a simple request today. I can see the yummy Amish bread I baked the other day. It's calling me. My lips say YES! Unfortunately, my hips say NO!

I am creating.....a family binder. Something to organize my frazzled mind. I used it years ago and am not quite sure why I quit. I think I found it took too much time to organize. LOL! You can find the tools for the binder here

I am going.....to be very proud of myself for finally blogging. Except the real credit goes to Amber Once again, she has inspired me. I am also going to enjoy the peace and quiet. It won't last for long.

I am wearing.....pink and white striped (with just a hint of sparkle) jammie bottoms with a hot pink Toronto Maple Leaf pj top.

I am reading.....Espresso For Your Spirit: Hope and Humor for Pooped Out Parents. I have been reading if for about 4 months. I am also glancing through Parent's Magazine. I only read the articles that really appeal to me. Otherwise I am left feeling like a failure after reading all the wonderful vacations and crafty things all these wonderful mothers are doing with their kids! And of course, The Bible!!

I am hoping.....for answered prayers. For Serena, who is battling ALS and is VERY sick right now. For Kelly, who had colon cancer and is still having treatments and awaiting more surgery. For Madeline Rose, an 8 month old, with a serious heart condition. For Freda, my friend's mom, who is paralysed after back surgery. For all those who do not know God that they someday come to know Him as a loving God. And the list goes on and on.

I am hearing.....the sound of the laundry, spinning. The cat pushing his water bowl around the kitchen floor. A television set, in a distance, somewhere in the house. The faint sound of God telling me that He loves me. Always.

Around the house.....is a sleeping baby. Toys scattered EVERYWHERE. Bins of clothes to sell. Bins of clothes to give away. Bins of clothes!!! Is a hard working husband. Is a grateful wife, for that hard working husband. The makings of three more Amish bread kits. Ahhh!! Traces of kids playing, kids learning and kids loving God. And this.

It reads "Oh, give thanks to The Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever". Psalm 106:1

And this...

One of my favorite things.....is that the sun JUST came out. It certainly is a beautiful fall day. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love seeing all the leaves. Makes me miss home. This is where I should be inserting an amazing picture of Hamilton, in all it's glow of yellow, orange and red. But, simply put, you don't realize what you've got until it's gone. I never took any pictures. I just took it for granted. So, I cheated.

Pictures do not do justice to it's beauty.

A few plans for the rest of my week.....To buy my sweet daughter a reward. A simple reward. For no longer sucking her fingers!!!!!!!! What an accomplishment for her. And she is so proud. And maybe I am a bit too :). To take a trip to Goodwill to get rid of some bins. Did I mention the bins??? To organize my pantry. To meet my new Parents as Teachers lady (and pray she is more person-friendly than the last one). To attend a birthday party and maybe a bonfire with friends (although the babysitting is not looking good). To help Lily practice for the Christmas play at church. To fix the bunk beds, the curtains, the shelves, the pictures in Alex's room that he "loved" too much. To hear all about "Grandparent's Day" from Lily and Alex. To enjoy every waking moment with my baby, watching him grow. To meditate on Deuteronomy 32:4.

So, today, this is how I see the world around me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life These Days...

is great!

is tiring.

is busy.

chaotic but GREAT!

So many things have changed over the past several months and we are still adjusting,

to a new baby.

to a three kid family

to a new church (or old church, depending on how you look at it)

to new friends and old friends

to preschool

but it's all great!

And I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Nathanael, who is now 6 months is just the bestest baby ever! He is sweet and doing so well.

Lily and Alex are in preschool (except this week 'cause we all got the kickyainthepants swine flu). Lily is loving it and doing well. Alex, hmmm, doesn't want to get up, doesn't want to get dressed, doesn't want to share...you see a pattern here?

We are back at Grace! I know, WHAT?? Yep, back at Grace and feeling God's love like never before.

Everyone's healthy and God is so good! Really, what else is there?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dedicated to...

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

I believe that God has placed people in my life, as they say, for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When I think about that saying, I can think back to friends that have come and go. There are very few that have been around a long time. I have one friend that is so near and dear to my heart. We have been through many, many years of joy and sadness together. And I truly believe that we will be together, as friends, for a lifetime.

Her name is Kathy and I love her with my whole heart!!!

LOL!! These pictures are from when we were in high school. Gosh, did we ever have fun together. Sadly, I do not have any recent ones. I need to work on that!

~is an amazing mother of two boys
~currently works, finding housing for the homeless
~is the woman behind the scenes of this talented artist
~doesn't like chocolate that much. What?? I know, I know!
~serves a dairy-free diet to her entire household, because one of her sons can't have it
~encourages her boys to catch snakes. Yep, you read that right!!
~is one of the most outdoorsy, laid back women I have ever met
~is smarter than the average bear
~is crazy but I love her!!!

Here's a few memorable snip-its from our friendship over the years:
~hours and hour of laughing and sharing
~we made up a "secret code" so we could write letters back and forth, without her cousin being able to read them (makes me lol just typing it)
~we printed up signs for our bedroom door, stating no boys allowed (but of course it was all in code, so we were the only ones that knew what it meant) (again, LOL).
~she purposely snagged her hair all up in one of those round brushes to stall me because she knew flowers were on their way to my apartment. And then she couldn't get it out!!!
~she introduced me to her cousin, who I went on to date for 8 years
~"Benson"...you just had to be there.
~when I left my first husband, I had no where to go. She took me in, no questions asked.
~when I said I had to leave for a while to "clear my head", she took care of my cats, even though she had nowhere to keep them
~when I had my first baby and couldn't get myself together emotionally, she offered to fly down, asap, even though she had a baby of her own
~recently when I was in hospital, she checked in on me almost daily
~she calls and emails and has even emailed Todd (even the wrong Todd, right Kat, lol), just to make sure I am ok, at all times
~she is the one friend that has been there for me, no matter what, over all these years
~she has NEVER judged me
~if I needed her here tomorrow, she would be here
~there is so, so much more, so many more personal things, so many more crazy and fun things, so much more laughing and sharing than I could ever mention.

So, this post goes out to you, Kathy. I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being my friend and loving me unconditionally.

Monday, August 10, 2009

10 on the 10th

I recently read about this super fun bloggy thing called 10 on the 10th. Go here to see where it originated.

Basically, on the tenth of each month you list 10 things, any 10 things. It sounded fun and I thought I would give it a whirl.

Doing laundry always brings on many surprises. Often I hear a clang or a bang in the dryer and now, I almost test myself to see if I can tell what it is without looking. These are the 10 things recently found in my dryer.

1) Divot remover and golf tee (clearly, Todd's)

2) Green car (owner...Alex)

3) Nail clippers. Since I am the only one that does the clippin', I will have to take the blame.

4) Golf tees (again Todd). Get the feeling you know what Todd does in his spare time??

5) Utility somethin' or other. Yep, that's what I was told it was called when I asked. And again, belongs to Todd.

6) Ink pen!!! UGH!! Found weekly. Bet you can guess who owns it!!! Unfortunately I have yet to acquire a new wardrobe from a pen explosion.

7) Car wash token (ahem...mine)

8) Candy wrapper from a small piece of chocolate from Kazakstan. Yes, really! And boy was it yummy. And although we all had some, only one person put the wrappers in his pants pocket. Yep, you guessed it. My man, Todd :).

9) Loose change. I am truly not sure who's it is so I'll take the blame. Makes me feel better, since I already slipped it into my wallet.

10) And last but not least.......

Hehehe. Well, it's true, just not as excited. What can I say....it's all I got!

Night all!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Child's Prayer

Lily caught her first frog on the weekend. She was so excited. Todd sent her in the house, thinking for sure that I would say, take it back outside. When she asked if she could keep it, I said sure, got her a plastic container and a bowl of water for our new pet.

Well, needless to say, the frog was not thriving. This morning we convinced Lily, against her will, that she needed to let him go today, before he croaked (LOL, sorry, I couldn't resist). She was pretty devastated.

Then we jumped in the car and headed to Border's for story-time. We listened to "Get The Sillies Out" about the Yo Gabba Gabba gang. Then we colored, cut and glued some pictures together while eating a cookie and drinking milk. It was the first time we had been to the story-time and I really enjoyed it. I think the kids did too, lol.

We grabbed a quick drink then headed to Todd's office to say hello. We stayed and visited for a few mins, then headed home. After lunch we painted ceramics for a while. Painting is one of the kid's favorite crafty things to do. Lily could paint for hours, if you let her.

We watched a movie, ate dinner, had a bath and were all ready for bed. Todd had to work really late, so at the last minute we decided to put together dinner for him and run it over to his office. He was really surprised to see us. We hung out while he munched on some of the yummies we took him.

Once home, we read a couple books and settled in for the night. The best part of my day was Lily's prayer......

Dear God, thank you for Nathanael, that he is sick. Make him better soon. Thank you for froggie. I let him go. I hope I can get another froggie soon. Thank you for us going to that place we went to today that we hadn't been to before. Thank you for going to daddy's office and giving him hugs for bedtime. Thank you for today. Thank you for loving us. I love you God. Amen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Am Thankful For...

I started this post off with the title of "Grumblings". I wanted to quickly spout off all the things that are annoying me today...some small, some not so small.

But instead, I decided to write about this.....

I am thankful for:

~a healthy, happy baby who melts my heart with just a smile

~a healthy, happy 3 yr old, who is smart and funny

~a healthy, happy 4 yr old, who is caring and gentle

~a husband who works very hard to provide for all our needs

~the garage door has held on for another week

~my flowers out front are still alive

~being able to sit outside today in the shade due to a beautiful breeze

~chocolate cake

~that when asked, God will forgive me for my shortcomings today

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emergency 911

Remember this show?

Emergency 911. It ran from 1972-1977. And for some reason, I remember it well, even though I was very young when it was on.

On Monday I took the kids to Fire House No.1.

When we entered the inside of the fire house I was struck with how similar it was to the tv show. It was exactly the same! Same kitchen set-up. Same old comfy chairs in front of their television. I mean, it was really weird, lol. Wouldn't you think they would've upgraded in the last 30 years. Although, they no longer have the fireman pole. Bummer!

After the "boring" stuff we went to the firetruck.

They climbed all over the truck, in and out, several times.

They got to see the "jaws of life"...

Compare the size of a truck tire to Alex...

See a real fire fighter in all his gear. Alex did not like the look of the mask or the sound of the oxygen tank...

We had a really great time, all thanks to fire fighter and family friend, Frank...

Thanks Frank. Love ya bud!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Tooth Fairy and The Three Little Bears

Lily has been doing her chores and saving her allowance for what seems like forever (to her). In reality, it has been about 6 weeks. We were at West County a couple months ago when Lily spied Build-A-Bear. It's been a long time since we have been to B-A-B and she was literally crying because we wouldn't take her there. Lily doesn't cry over many things. She is a pretty good talker, briber, manipulator, if you will... When she cried, I thought two things 1) she is very tired or 2) she really wants a Build-A-Bear. She has saved every cent she has received since that day.

On Saturday, something wonderful and exciting happened!! Lily lost her first tooth :).

She had been recently told by a 5 year old friend of hers that the tooth fairy did not exist so she had a lot of questions about how it was all going to work.

"Mama, are you going to put the money under my pillow for the tooth fairy?"

"Who put the money for you when you were a little girl?"

"What if the tooth fairy doesn't come?"

I could see the concern in her eyes as I said, "We'll just have to wait and see".

The morning started as usual...the kids playing, trying to occupy themselves while Mama wakes up. Then I heard it. Excitement! Lily came in with a bag of coins. In the bag, there was a letter from the tooth fairy, telling her that she did a good job brushing her teeth and that she had taken the tooth in exchange for this little treat. We then found a trail of pixey dust in her room. It was all very exciting (have I said it was exciting, yet, lol).

The excitement escalated when I told her that with the tooth fairy money, she now had enough to get a Build-A-Bear!!!!!

After church on Sunday, we headed to Build-A-Bear. It was so fun to watch Lily. Alex got excited once he saw how excited Lily was and Nathanael, well he napped :).

This is Lily and "Diamond", the unicorn.

Alex and "Tiger", the tiger..
And Nathanael and "Squirt", the puppy..

Clearly, he loves his puppy, lol!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Who me? Yes you!! That's who!

Have I mentioned that the kids spent the week at Crocodile Dock VBS at Grace Church? Nope! Know why?

I because I am a slacker!

Did I show you these pics of the kids from the week?

Nope. If I had, I would've told you that they are looking like a croc is about to get them.

But I didn't.

Because I am a slacker.

And what about Lily and her BFF?

Nope. If I had, I would've told you that they spent the entire week attached at the hip, like they used to, before their mother's had a fight and haven't talked in nearly two years. Thank goodness children can be mature!

But I didn't.

Because I am a slacker!

Did I tell you that my one and only niece, Caoilainn (Kay-lin), turned the big 2??

Nope. If I had, I would've told you that she is a sweetheart, lives very far away, and probably doesn't know that she has an aunt that hearts her so much.

But I didn't.

Because I am a slacker.

Did I tell you that my baby boy is now starting to sleep through the night?

Nope. If I had, I would've told you that I am letting him sleep in my bed, on his belly, with a blanket and that if "the professionals" found out they would probably flip out!

I also would've told you that I am still not getting any sleep because I am constantly checking on him because of him crazy sleeping arrangements.

But I didn't.

Because I am a slacker.

Did I tell you that reading my fellow rascal raising's blog made me feel all warm and fuzzy towards my husband? (thanks Amb!).

Nope. If I had, I would've told you that this is a picture from the first time we met. That we were madly in love with each other almost right away. And that I am itching to get us back to that honeymoon stage, one day soon.

But I didn't.

Because I am a slacker!

There's lot more slacking off to be posted but for now it must be put on hold.... Thanks for being patient with me out there in blogworld. Love you all!